God calling us back

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Emily Hirshorn ’15

I simply love going on retreats because they offer me the opportunity to grow in my faith, meet new people, and take time to slow down my busy lifestyle. While many spiritual retreats emphasize connecting to God through unplugging from technological distractions, the first Lifeline weekend caught my eye because it seemed so different. In contrast with my previous retreat experiences, this retreat required smart phones for the entire weekend. 
The first ever Lifeline weekend centered around the use of the Society of the Sacred Heart’s new app, My Call Me Back. Convent of the Sacred Heart junior Brooke Remsen, senior Zsanelle Morel, and I attended the retreat along with five Sacred Heart students from Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda, Maryland.
The retreat started last Friday night with all of us Sacred Heart girls setting up our air mattresses and sleeping bags in a classroom, and promptly comparing our school rings. We then ate dinner in the faculty dining room and shared similarities and differences between our schools’ traditions. It was such a memorable experience realizing how connected we already are to one another because we belong to the Sacred Heart network.
After dinner, our first formal session began in the library, where the retreat leaders, Mrs. Lori Wilson, Director of Campus Ministry, Sr. Reyna González, Religious of the Sacred Heart (RSCJ), and Sr. Maureen Chicoine, RSCJ, presented a Prezi introducing us to the application. We then found our own space in the library and explored the app for an hour.
Instead of focusing on one of the app’s seven different components, I found myself weaving in and out of everything. At that point in the retreat, I was unable to see the app as a means for reflection, and instead used it like any other app I use where I skim content and then move along to something new.

Emily Hirshorn '15
Emily Hirshorn ’15

Day two involved seeing the application as a means of integrating prayer into our daily lives. The four pillars of the retreat were Spirituality, Community, Social Justice, and Belonging to Something Bigger. We soon discovered how interconnected all these components are, and that we should integrate these themes into our daily life through both prayer with God and interaction with others.
After a second day of exploring and discussing the app, a panel of special guests came in to talk about their vocations. At first glance, it did not seem to me that a married couple, a single woman, a nun, and a priest could have much in common. But, I learned that they are all united through their love of God and desire to serve Him in their vocations to which He has called them.
On the second day I focused more on each app component. Choosing my quiet space this time in the chapel, I mapped out  “My route” and then more deeply explored each prompt and video link. While the application is not the traditional form of prayer I am used to, I can now see it as a vehicle for reflection and being aware of God’s presence in my life.
Perhaps, however, what really got me to understand the purpose of this retreat was during the one hour that we had to put together a promotional video for future Lifeline retreats. Together, we came up with ways to portray the retreat and its purpose to others. Our first idea was to plug in “God” as a contact in someone’s phone, and then have “God” call another phone.
While God may not literally be calling our iPhones, I believe He is calling us to walk in life with Him by our side. So, we must be sure to make Him a part of our life. If we are always on our phones, then we should incorporate Him into our phone by downloading the My Call Me Back application. If we have to drive a lot, we could listen to K-LOVE (96.7 Christian station) on the radio. We can make sure to go to mass every Sunday, go to confession once in a while, and even try praying the Rosary. We can strive to make our first thought in the morning about God instead of ourselves, and end the day reflecting on what we did well or what we could improve on.
Every effort we make to deepen our relationship with God and grow in our own holiness acts as a response to God calling in our lives. It does not matter which vocation we choose so long as we constantly seek God every moment we can. For God, our unconditionally loving and caring Father, won’t stop calling us home.
– Emily Hirshorn, Opinions Editor
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mMeHw6QpJQ
Video courtesy of Lauren Mariano, Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart ’15